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Posts Tagged ‘Job’

Why are we counted as beasts, And regarded as stupid in your sight? Job 18:3

All Men Are Bozos

That of course is a lie; men are not Bozos. You will not find Bozo-theology offered as truth anywhere in the Bible. What you will find are sinful people (like Job’s friend Bildad) saying foolish things, as he does in Job 18:3. The truth is that God does not count men as beasts, nor does he regard us as stupid. The concept is a lie from the pit of hell.

What the Bible Has to Say on the Subject

Two Bible verse jump out at me:

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” Psalm 14:1a

He who trusts in his own heart is a fool. Proverbs 28:26

On the surface, those are pretty incriminating passages, but when we sort through the rhetoric it’s plain to see that sin-nature is the true culprit. We should also take note that the passages are not gender specific—human beings are foolish when they are ensnared by their own sin, men and women alike.

So What’s My Point?

My point is that men are not Bozos, despite the fact it’s a lie perpetuated in almost every single TV sitcom.  The truth be told, men are sinners, and we have discovered a convenient lie to hide behind so that we may continue in our sin. In other words, we often pretend to be stupid so we can continue to be selfish and lazy. There, I said it. Let the fireworks begin.

I’ll give you one example from my own life: doing laundry. I use to do my wife’s laundry, that is until I ‘accidentally’ shrunk a few things in the drier and turned a few white things ‘pink’ in the washing machine. My wife took back the chore when we both agreed I was an idiot.

Now let’s examine the facts. First, I am not an idiot—I know how to do laundry. Any moron can figure out and recall the basic steps of separating colors and whites, the use of hot and cold water, and what can and cannot go into the drier. The problem is not that I am stupid, the problem is that I’m lazy (aka: a sinner). 99% of the time you can get away with being a lazy launderer, but every so often your sin will find you out.

Here’s what really happened: I could have a) objected to being called an idiot and defended my laundering skills, or b) accept the idiot moniker and never have to do my wife’s laundry again. Hmm…tough choice huh? While choosing ‘plan b’ seemed like the wise, manly thing to do it, was also the sinful thing to do. “Yup, I’m a bozo honey; couldn’t agree with you more (have fun washing your own clothes)!”

The Spiritual Fork in the Road

I’m rocking a very sacred boat and I suspect this is where I am going to lose a lot of the men. Why would I even dare to raise the issue? I bring it up in the light of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians’, particularly this passage in chapter 5:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27

Men, if we are hiding behind a lie in our marital relationships, we are not loving our wives as Christ loved the church nor are we cleansing them with the washing of the word. What we are doing is deceiving our wives and giving them a sinful example to emulate. Men, we are not Bozos…we are sinners. As painful as it is for us, we must reject the notion of the world that we inane and accept that truth that are hearts are deceptively wicked. Change that is pleasing to God cannot come until we confess our sin and repent.

 

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Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys…So Job died, old and full of days. Job 42:12 + 17

What does the book of Job teach us? Well the truth be told, it teaches us so much more then I could ever record here in this short blog. I did however want to pull out a few key elements. Primarily the book is a tutorial on faith.

Faith

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17

Faith is that thing that prepares us for eternity and it is a component that must be exercised. Walking by sight; having the proof staring us in the face is not the thing that propels a saint forward or readies him or her for things everlasting.

Submission

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Job 2:9-10

Obviously submitting ourselves to God is important, but did you realize that submission to His sovereignty silences satan? It’s true! Just two chapters in (in a forty-two chapter book) and we never hear from satan again.

Humilty

“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6

Without a doubt Job was humbled, but with his humiliation came revelation. The same can be true for us if we choose to search for it amidst our shame. God does not allow us to be knocked down merely that we should skin our knees, but rather while we are down we might seek His face

Synchronicity

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:12-18

Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, and Elihu blew it and in so doing we glean from their mistakes. Their offense: taking the truth of the Bible and assaulting Job with it. James, the brother of Jesus, elaborates on how we ought to counsel our suffering brothers and sisters inside and outside of the faith.

Compassion

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

It’s a divine reality: those who have suffered are compassionate towards those who have suffered or are suffering similarly. It’s a worldly reality that not everyone exercises this gift. All along we might have thought, “God, why are you letting me suffer so greatly?” only to discern later His answer, “So that you might be a comfort to someone else.”

Discovery

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

You might have noticed that God did not answer any of Job’s questions. The fact of the matter is that God responded to Job with sixty (60) of His own questions. These questions ultimately served a singular purpose—they demonstrated that God is the answer to all our questions, comments, or concerns.

Assurance

Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. John 16:20

There is a happy ending for those who are in Christ Jesus. It doesn’t matter what our current state, the Christian knows how the story ends. The non-believer does not have such cheerful assurances. Job’s hope was not that his wealth was restored double, but that his future was with the Lord eternally. The Apostle Paul would summarize our condition this way:

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18


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These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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Oh, that I were as in months past, As in the days when God watched over me. When His lamp shone upon my head, And when by His light I walked through darkness; Just as I was in the days of my prime, When the friendly counsel of God was over my tent; Job 29:2-4

On the Mend

It’s kind of a silly notion, but have you ever wondered why we have memories? I only bring up the topic today because in our story, Job had some recollections of his past that served to bring him to a better place, spiritually speaking. We would recall how twenty-six chapters earlier Job lamented,

“May the day perish on which I was born, And the night in which it was said, ‘A male child is conceived.’ May that day be darkness; May God above not seek it, Nor the light shine upon it. May darkness and the shadow of death claim it; May a cloud settle on it; May the blackness of the day terrify it. As for that night, may darkness seize it; May it not rejoice among the days of the year, May it not come into the number of the months. Oh, may that night be barren! May no joyful shout come into it! May those curse it who curse the day, Those who are ready to arouse Leviathan. May the stars of its morning be dark; May it look for light, but have none, And not see the dawning of the day; Because it did not shut up the doors of my mother’s womb, Nor hide sorrow from my eyes. “Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb?” (Job 3:2-11)

In these latter chapters, as Job bathes in remembrances, he begins to heal. If believers were to liken memories to a ship, we could faithfully say that the past, good or bad, is not an anchor, but a rudder. In other words, they are not things that render us motionless, but rather the collective thing that steer us in the appropriate direction. This was Job’s discovery; he could rightly declare as the Psalmist had,

“Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah And I said, “This is my anguish; But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds.” (Psalm 77:9-12)

In bad times, Job recalled the good times and I suspect in the good times to come, he would remember his days of torment, grief, and pain. If we allow them to, all our memories, regardless of how we characterize them, will guide us in hope and gratitude for the One who affords them all.

Are You Lost

Are you saved, but sense you’re lost or out of touch with God? Return to the place where you last saw Jesus clearly and He will meet you there.

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place–unless you repent. Revelation 2:5


These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman? If even the moon does not shine, And the stars are not pure in His sight, How much less man, who is a maggot, And a son of man, who is a worm?” Job 25:4-6

These are the words of Job’s friend Bildad and they are a response to Job’s lament to go before the Lord and plead his case. Essentially Bildad is saying to Job, “Because all men are unrighteousness, they cannot stand before the throne of God.”

Theologically speaking, Bildad was right. And so were the psalmist and the prophet when they wrote, “The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one…we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags…” (Psalm 14:2-3; Isaiah 64:6a)

But prophetically speaking, Bildad was wrong, for it is the believer’s good fortune to be clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ—those who believe by faith have access to God. What a glorious mystery it is!

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. Isaiah 61:10-11

There is however a predictive irony in Bildad’s reply; whether he realized it or not (probably not), he spoke prophetically of Christ Jesus. In the New Testament Jesus makes reference to Himself as the ‘Son of man’ over eighty times and He likens Himself to a worm one time in the Old Testament.

But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people. Psalm 22:6

We collectively wonder, “Why would Jesus call Himself a worm?” The answer overwhelms us.

The word worm in Hebrew is towla and it is used to describe both a worm and the color scarlet. They are synonymous because the ‘towla worm’ was the source for the color scarlet; if you wanted scarlet material, you crushed some towlas in a bowl (I suppose) and tossed in the fabric you wanted to dye.

Henry Morris, in the book, “Biblical Basis for Modern Science”, give us this additional information on the towla: ‘When the female of the scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her young, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle. As the mother died, the crimson fluid stained her body and the surrounding wood.’

Are you beginning to see the parallels between a worm and Jesus Christ? This next segment I borrowed from Calvin Ray Evans in an article he wrote for the ‘Insect man’ website. Savor and enjoy.

“First, the crimson worm climbs on the tree all by itself. Nobody forces it to get on the tree. It willingly searches out the kermes oak which is symbolic of its destiny. Then, by its own choice it climbs on the tree. Please understand that nobody forced Christ on the cross. What He did was of His own choice. He could have called all the angels of Heaven to release Him but He died alone for you and me.

The crimson worm knows when it climbs on the tree that it will not come back down alive. It is going to the tree to birth a family and to do that it must die. Jesus knowing all things still was willing to die on the cross to birth a family.

Once on the tree, the crimson worm then attaches itself to the tree. It makes sure it is secure because the body of the worm will eventually be the shelter for the young, which are born. Remember, it was not nails that held our Savior to the cross. It was love! That same love and broken body of our Lord is the protection for us against all the winds of heresy and unbelief of the ages. The worm will then lay its eggs and shelter them under her body.

During the birthing process, she secretes a crimson fluid or gel. The scarlet fluid covers her entire body and all the eggs she lays. It also leaves a stain on the tree, which will never fade away with the passing of time! (Please excuse me if I stop to shout right here! You may need to pause to join me too!) The blood of Jesus stained Him, the cross and all of us, which are saved! The blood will never lose its power!

After dying to birth the family, something amazing takes place. For a period of three days the worm can be scraped from the tree and the crimson gel can be used to make a dye. That dye was the same which was used in the tabernacle and in the garments of the High Priest.

On the morning of the fourth day, the worm has pulled the head and tail together and is now in the shape of a heart on the tree but it is no longer crimson. It is now a wax, which is white as snow. They can still harvest the wax and use it to make shellac, a preservative of wood. Praise God for the resurrection, which serves as the preservative of the message of the cross.

The crimson worm is also very fragrant when it is crushed. No other life in history has sweetened the pathway of humanity like the crimson worm who was crushed for our sin, Jesus.”

Here’s the bottom line. When Jesus referred to Himself as a worm, He was not coming down on Himself—the reference had doctrinal implications that would abide forever. The allusion was prophetic not poetic, it was momentous not insignificant; it was perfect and not irrelevant.

By the way…Happy Easter


These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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But He is unique, and who can make Him change? And whatever His soul desires, that He does. For He performs what is appointed for me, And many such things are with Him. Therefore I am terrified at His presence; When I consider this, I am afraid of Him. For God made my heart weak, And the Almighty terrifies me; Because I was not cut off from the presence of darkness, And He did not hide deep darkness from my face. Job 23:13-17

Twenty-three chapters into the Book of Job and I am wondering why our main character hasn’t told his friends to take a hike. Chapter after chapter Job has endured a verbal mugging from his so-called friend’s and following each one, he rises up to defend himself. Why Job—why are you doing this? It would seem that Job wishes to be a defense attorney, arguing against their character and for his integrity.

Spinning His Wheels

As we read the account we might say, “Good for Job! He has the right to let these guys have it.” Job might have the right, but is he right?

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 1 Corinthians 10:23

Job’s difficulty (so far) is that he has failed to recognize that he is not an attorney, but he is the star witness! He doesn’t need to stand up and defend God, himself, or anyone else. Job has been empowered to take the stand to give testimony only. Jesus put it this way…

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

In his hardship, righteous Job had been given a choice. Up until this point he has chosen unwisely; Job is in fact spinning the wheels. What does that mean? It means he has taken the power he has been given and he isn’t going any where. Oh he’s making a lot of noise–revving engines and whirling tires sound cool, but he hasn’t budged one inch. Job has made quite the commotion, but only succeeded in leaving behind a black mark.

I don’t know about you, but this insight convicts me. For the past week or so I’ve been down in the dumps—nothing major, just the accumulation of a bunch of rubbish that finally wore me down. As I read through Job today I realized that I have been playing lawyer and in so doing I passed up numerous opportunities to glory God with my witness. God has been trying to say to me all week, “Dave, its okay that your down, but lift Me up.”

It doesn’t matter if I am oppressed or strengthened, up or down, rich or poor, in all cases I am neither an attorney for the defense or the prosecution—in every situation, I am the witness. And more then that, I am a star witness. That does not mean I am stellar; far from it, but rather that when I consider and subsequently relate all that Jesus Christ has done for me, He is glorified, honored, and praised…He is the Star!

Regardless of my state, if I do anything other than give God the glory, all I am doing is wasting the power God has blessed me with—I am spinning my wheels and probably leaving a black mark somewhere or on somebody. By way of His Holy Spirit, God has given His church power to magnify Him and to redirect that energy elsewhere is extravagantly wasteful.

Oh that this lesson would be impressed upon my heart forever.

“I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.” Job 23:12b


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These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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“Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! That they were engraved on a rock With an iron pen and lead, forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! Job 19:23-27

Job has personal knowledge of an eternal, holy, Redeemer. Job speaks as one who has found an intermediary; the One who will stand up and pay the ransom that will ultimately deliver him. Incredibly Job speaks of the only One who could pay the price for his redemption and freedom. The question that remains is how did Job come by this knowledge—so how did Job know?

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8:35

We know that the things that happened to Job were not caused by God, but by satan. However, we also know that God gave satan the freedom to do these things. For centuries the masses have asked why would God allow satan to do mean, horrible, nasty things to Job. Was it merely so God could prove a point to satan; was it solely to demonstrate that Job would not abandon God if all his blessings were removed? I submit to you that it was much deeper than that and that God never does anything for a singular reason—Job’s tribulation would bring about God’s revelation—our Redeemer lives!

“Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! That they were engraved on a rock With an iron pen and lead, forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! Job 19:23-27

Job hadn’t a clue that these words would be recorded in the best selling Book of all time and that gazillions of people would glean from his miraculous insight. Job didn’t know, Eliphaz didn’t know, Bildad didn’t know, Zophar didn’t know, but God knew–He would give us a glimpse of His Son through the sufferings of one man and the notion of a kinsman redeemer would echo forever through the entire Bible.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10

Therefore, it stands reason that if God allowed Job to suffer in ways that would ultimately benefit Job and many others; He would allow us to suffer for similar reasons. Would perfectly successful people ever look to God for anything? No, they wouldn’t; without tribulation there is no need to look up. God in His infinite and perfect wisdom gives us a vehicle by which we will seek Him regularly. Christians therefore know that success is not measured by a lack of suffering, but rather how well we abide in Christ through them. Victory is realized when we hear from our Redeemer,

“Well done good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25:21

I am not suggesting that God does not speak to us in the good times as well; that would be a silly notion. The observation is that our Father has some valuable information to share with us every time we find ourselves crawling in the dark on our knees.


Follow me on Twitter HERE

These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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Behold, my eye has seen all this, My ear has heard and understood it. What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. But I would speak to the Almighty, And I desire to reason with God. Job 13:1-3

Although we are cautioned against it, Christians like to argue, contest, and debate other Christians. I’ve done it, you’ve done it, and they’ve done it. Probably because it is a component of our sinful nature, we feel the need to defend God and our position in Christ. I submit to you that these things do not need defense.

”But Dave…”

Doesn’t the Bible says, ‘Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching,’ in 2 Timothy 4:2; and doesn’t 1 Peter 3:15 direct us to, ‘always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.’

The Bible most certainly does prescribe these things, but please note that the 2nd Timothy passage begins with the exclamation, “Preach the word!” and the 1st Peter verse, “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts.” Sadly, when we enter into our doctrinal discussions, we tend to forget the simple admonitions: know the Bible and know your heart. As far as Zophar, Bildad, and Eliphaz (Job’s friends) were concerned, they knew very little of one and almost nothing of the other.

The Response

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18

Job’s response should be our response, that is, “I appreciate what you boys are saying, but I can speak directly to Him myself.” Job’s remark didn’t imply that he knew everything that was going on, but that he knew enough to discern these guys had missed the mark with their counsel—Job wisely turns to the Lord.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

Please let it be clear that I am not proposing that we reject godly direction or fellowship—Heaven forbid. Rather that we would yield to the Holy Spirit when He reveals counsel has turned to conflict.

Those who regularly submit their hearts to the Lord for inspection (and correction) and abide in His Word, will clearly hear His voice when He speaks.

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21


 

These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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